The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed multi-million naira worth of relief materials to 1280 individuals affected by windstorm disaster at Agbogugu community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The violent windstorm disaster, which ravaged both residential and commercial buildings in parts of the community, occurred on April 23, 2018.
Speaking during direct distribution of the materials to the affected persons at the community on Thursday, the Director-General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, said that the Federal Government gesture was aimed at cushioning the effect of the natural disaster.
Maihaja, who was represented by South-East Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Walson Ibarakumo, noted that the disaster was brought to the attention of NEMA through media reports and Enugu State Emergency Management Agency (ESEMA).
The director-general said that the agency had earlier carried out a joint assessment to ascertain the level of the disaster in the affected area on April 25, 2018.
He added that the team that went for the assessment assignment were made up of its staff from NEMA South-East, ESEMA and a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Chief Toby Okechukwu , who represents the community at the National Assembly.
According to him, the assessment revealed that several buildings both residential and commercial had their roofs blown off as well as economic trees pulled down leading to displacement of residents and dislocation of means of livelihood.
“The assessment equally revealed that most of the affected persons do not have the capacity to rebuild their houses or restart their businesses. Thus, the submission made to our headquarters for assistance to the affected persons is the course for our
gathering here today.
“The responsiveness of the Federal Government on the plight of the disaster victims has been quite prompt and encouraging.
“We received approval of relief items in accordance with our mandate and have delivered same to the affected persons in this community,’’ he said.
The director-general, who did not disclose the amount spent on procuring the relief materials, noted that the relief materials was not a direct replace of what the people of the community had lost, but “to cushion the effect of the unfortunate incident’’.
Responding, President General of the community, Chief Chijioke Udeh, lauded the Federal Government for the intervention, saying that the gesture had given the community and affected persons “great relief from the burden of the disaster’’.
“As a community, we are grateful to the Federal Government for these relief materials as well as other organizations and individuals that had contributed to drawing the attention of the Federal Government to our plight,’’ he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Linus Okoli, thanked the Federal Government for the relief materials, adding that he would use the bundles of roofing sheet he received to re-roof his house complete as the project had been a challenge to him.
The relief materials donated to the victims included: 250 bags of rice; 250 bags of garri; 250 bags of beans; 250 bags of maize as well as bags of cement.
Others are hundreds of bundles of roofing sheets, nails, detergents, nylon mats,
mosquito nets, cartons of bathing soaps, clothes, mattresses, blankets among others.